When are nectarines in season?
Nectarines, botanical name Prunus persica nectarine, are identified as the queen of all fruit. But no matter what the name everyone can enjoy the fuzzy, succulent and sweet peaches. Although similar in many ways, you can easily identify a nectarine by their smooth skin and slightly smaller size compared to a peach. On top of that, a ripe nectarine is slightly acidic and sour as well as has a supreme aroma and rich flavor that is more evident and marked than that of a peach.
The nectarine was named after the classical drink of the Greek Gods called ‘nectar’ because of its elegance, taste and aroma.
The origin of this delectable fruit is still a mystery. Granting its similarity to a peach and how a peach tree is capable of bearing nectarines, peach seeds are the most likely culprit and source of nectarines.
Nectarines were first discovered in China about 2000 years ago and later made its way to Rome, Greece and Persia where it was cultivated.
The nectarine is a mutation of the peach fruit and belongs to the family Rosaceae. It is a stone fruit or drupe that can either be clingstone (flesh adheres firmly to the stone) or freestone (flesh separates easily from the stone). The nectarine comes in yellow and white varieties.
Nectarines are grown all throughout the warm, mild regions of the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Fresh nectarines are one of the highlights of the summer stone fruits and are available from late April until late August, however a certain variety, Chilean Nectarines, are available from December to March.
Popular Nectarine Varieties
|Fantasia||Mid-summer/Mid-season||This is a large, yellow-type heirloom clingstone variety with firm texture and juicy flesh. It has a sweet flavor with a tinge of acid and light tart notes.|
|Flavortop||June to August||Large, yellow nectarine freestones that are sweet and utterly delicious. This high quality variety is flavorful and great for making pies and cobblers.|
|Snow Queen||Early season||Large freestone nectarine that is fair-skinned with light russet blush; flesh is juicy.|
|Stark Sunglo||Mid-season||All purpose freestone nectarine with mild acid flavor.|
|Redgold||Late season||Freestone nectarine with yellow ground color blotched with rich red blush.|
Nectarines are classic summer treats and can be enjoyed in different ways; you can make nectarine dessert like the Nectarine Frangipine Tart, eat it fresh or make pies and cobblers.
Now you may be wondering how to store nectarines if you have more than what you need. You can try freezing nectarines or use them to turn them into jams.